McCall History & Museums: Warren Idaho, Ghost Town

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Warren Ghost Town

Established during the gold rush, the historic ghost town of Warren, Idaho is tucked away in the majestic mountains of north central Idaho. Read More

  • One of Idaho’s first towns. 
  • Settled in 1862 when gold was discovered by James Warren. 
  • Hidden away in the breathtaking mountains of north central Idaho. 
  • A scenic 45 mile drive from McCall.


Once a booming gold town, Warren, ID is one of the oldest towns in the entire state. Within the first year after James Warren discovered gold there, the town quickly grew to 660 people. In its prime the town bustled with nearly 5000 residents, many of whom were Chinese. Today, even though it’s called a ghost town, the population ranges from 12 to 16 year round, and around 50 in the summer. If you want to visit a fascinating piece of Idaho’s history, spend a day exploring this rustic town.

Location and directions

Warren is located approximately 45 miles northeast of McCall. To get there go west on E. Lake St. for a little over a mile, then turn right onto Warren Wagon Rd and stay on that for about 43 miles to Warren. Some portions of the road are unpaved.

Interesting facts

Established in 1862 by James Warren, it’s believed that about $15 million of placer gold was produced by the Warren Mining District between 1862 and 1935. Formerly the county seat for Idaho County, the elevation of this mountain town is 5909.

Spring and summer activities

  • Annual Events - The first Saturday of March the town has a crab feed. On Labor Day Saturday there’s the Arts, Crafts & Back Country Treasures Fair, and during the 4th of July is the Spotted Owl Shoot with a barbecue and dance (Idaho doesn’t have spotted owls – they use targets instead).
  • Warren Auto Tour - The 45 mile drive from McCall to Warren winds through some breathtaking scenery with picnic spots and hiking trails along the way. If you stop by the McCall Ranger District office, you can pick up the audio version of the Warren Auto Tour which includes history and highlights.
  • Mushroom hunting - If you love morel mushrooms Warren is an excellent place to hunt them due to fires in recent years.